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Thread: California lawmakers pass bill allowing non-citizen immigrants to serve on jury duty

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    jrs
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    Default California lawmakers pass bill allowing non-citizen immigrants to serve on jury duty

    California lawmakers pass bill allowing non-citizen immigrants to serve on jury duty | abc7chicago.com

    April 25, 2013 (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- The state Assembly on Thursday passed a bill that would make California the first state in the nation to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.

    Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, said his bill, AB1401, would help California widen the pool of prospective jurors and help integrate immigrants into the community. It does not change other criteria for being eligible to serve on a jury, such as being at least 18, live in the county that is making the summons and being proficient in English.

    The bill passed 45-25 largely on a party-line vote in the Democratic-controlled Assembly and will move on to the Senate. One Democrat - Assemblyman Adam Gray, of Merced - voted no, while other Democrats did not vote.

    Democratic lawmakers who voted for the bill said there is no correlation between being a citizen and a juror, and they noted that there is no citizenship requirement to be an attorney or a judge. But Republican lawmakers who opposed Wieckowski's bill called it misguided and premature.

    Assemblywoman Diane Harkey, R-Dana Point, said there is no shortage of jurors.

    "Jury selection is not the problem. The problem is trial court funding," Harkey said before the vote. "I hope we can focus on that. Let's not break something; it's not broken now. Let's not whittle away at what is reserved for U.S. citizens. There's a reason for it."

    Wieckowski's office said the bill is the first of such kind in the nation and suggested that courts regularly struggle to find enough prospective jurors because jury duty is often seen as an "inconvenience, if not a burden." His office did not cite any statistics but pointed to a 2003 legislative report that said numerous articles have noted high rates of non-participation.

    California's top judge has urged lawmakers to ensure equal access to justice by reinvesting in a court system that has been hit with years of budget cuts. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye noted that the court budget has been reduced by more than $1 billion over the last five budget years, which has resulted in fewer courtrooms, higher fees and delayed repairs and construction on a number of buildings.

    A message left for the Judicial Council, which administers the state's court system, was not immediately returned Thursday.

    Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said just as women were once kept off juries, the judicial system should be changed to allow a person to be judged by their peers.

    "This isn't about affording someone who would come in as a juror something," Perez said. "But rather understanding that the importance of the jury selection process of affording justice to the person in that courtroom."

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    jrs - the damn liberals and their super majority in the capitol are completely handing this state to the illegals.
    jrs
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    Gunco Member STGUSN's Avatar
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    How in the hell are you going to let a NON citizen decide justice of an AMERICAN citizen? This should really piss people off as much as it does me. I did not serve in the military to have our country given away. I'm beyond pissed about this.

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    Happy Camper hcpookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrs View Post
    [snip]to allow non-citizens who are in the country legally to serve on jury duty.

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    jrs - the damn liberals and their super majority in the capitol are completely handing this state to the illegals.
    Not exactly.... it sounds to me like resident aliens like my stepkids would be allowed to serve jury duty.


    Assembly Speaker John Perez, D-Los Angeles, said just as women were once kept off juries, the judicial system should be changed to allow a person to be judged by their peers.

    "This isn't about affording someone who would come in as a juror something," Perez said. "But rather understanding that the importance of the jury selection process of affording justice to the person in that courtroom."
    Isn't that one of the duties of being a US Citizen? Am I not remembering correctly off the top of my head? Not a question of a PEER, rather one of a CITIZEN... right? Need to go look that up because my memory is fuzzy on that one... seem to remember that when helping my wife study for her citizenship application.
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    Gunco Regular Rocster's Avatar
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    This is a travesty.
    Two points:
    1) I had always thought that the Bill of Rights held you had a right to a trial by a jury of your peers. Upon checking I now see the the 'peers' section is in not in the 6th Amendment:
    "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."
    So Constitutionally they just need to be part of the locality / community. I'm not sure I am comfortable with that for reason #2.
    2) Can they understand/speak english well enough to participate in the proceedings?

    This raises a lot of red flags.
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    Gunco Veteran Viper Dude's Avatar
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    For what it's worth...
    During the Vietnam War non-US citizens and non-US students here in the states were subject to the draft and service in the US military.

    VD in AZ

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    Gunco Member STGUSN's Avatar
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    If they are legal citizens, then I would have no problem with them being on a jury as long as they can understand the language spoken during trial. I also would not mind if they were here in country legally on a visa of some sort.

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    Gunco Addicted for life j427x's Avatar
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    i don't know --something WRONG with the idea of having FOREIGN jurors.

    next thing you know they be outsourcing the courts to CHINA!

    i bet all the USA born white do called terrorist get a foreign born jury! this would really suit obama!

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